Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Ag PhD Float in the Rose Parade

So surely you watched the Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1.  As reported recently in this blog, Ag PhD had a float to best show the parade theme: Making a Difference.  When coming up with the entry, Brian and Darren Hefty thought, Who makes more of a difference than farmers?  And here is the result.  It seems that Albert was actually at the parade in the grandstand and sent me this picture. 
 Stephanie sent me this shot from her TV of Brian and Darren in the cab of the float Case IH tractor (of course).
Here is an aerial picture from the TV I was watching showing the length of the float.  It was huge, over 100 feet long.
Here is a TV shot showing the float title and the winner of the Wrigley Legacy Award, which is given for the best floral presentation.  Well remember that there are seeds being used form all 50 states, including the NCRS.  So who could contend with that?  That's Brian and Darren's Dad in red on the float.  Along with 100 farmer family members from all 50 states.  This was a first as well.
So we watched on RFD TV, but I recorded the parade on some other networks to see how they would present this Salute to the Farmer.  I was very pleased and impressed that all were very positive and thankful for farmers.  Although it was apparent that they all had a fact script.  But here is my review:
ABC: I give them the highest grade of A+ for mentioning Brian and Darren by name and mentioning that their show is the "#1 agronomy show on TV".  (But they didn't define agronomy.) They said it was from Baltic, SD. They also said how America needs farmers.  They mentioned the farmers and seeds from all 50 states.  NBC:  Also mentioned the seeds and farmers from all states.  And how farmers make a difference.  I like NBC's Hoda Kotb (to farmers: "God bless 'em") and Al Roker is a card, singing: Oh say can you seed...and he really liked the moving combine.  There was a local feed from Fox Los Angeles that said the theme Salute to the Farmer, and No Farmers, No Food.  Mentioned the farmers and seeds from all 50 states and thanked The hard working farmers who keep us fed.  

Brian and Darren said on their website that it was a goal to show that by far  most of the farms in America are run by families who work hard to produce our food.  Well based on the commentary and presentation on TV, I say Mission Impossible became Mission Accomplished!   

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year LAND of LIQUID!

So I say this every year....and why change now....but how can it be (insert upcoming year) already?  In this case, 2018.  The year has flown by, and is still a blur.  And even now 2018 is rotating West towards the Land of Liquid.  But it was a pretty good year overall.  Some new things were learned at the NCRS (see Research Report) and  a great AgroExpo event was held there as well.  Numerous group tours and another great quartet of college interns learned the real deal on crop fertility at the NCRS last summer.  But even as we close the books on 2017, there are already thoughts being formed of research activities and projects for 2018.
So wherever you are welcoming in the New Year, we wish all of you the best in 2018!
And of course, an AgroLiquid year would really make it the best.  It's the best Jerry!  The best.

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Gift For You

So after all of the waiting and anticipation, when it seemed so far away, here it is now towards the end of Christmas day.  I hope you had an enjoyable and reflective day wherever you were.    
And this being the season of giving, AgroLiquid's Agronomic Sciences team has a great gift for you.  The posting of the 2017 Research Report on the website.  Just click the Research Tab and you will see it.  It's 83 pages packed with reports from the NCRS, as well as off-farm contract research and PFE's.  Additionally there are the summer intern project posters.  A page turner if there ever was one.
Thanks, as usual, to Stephanie for managing the assemblage of all of this information into a rich report.  Through her persistence, we are able to meet our pre-Christmas deadline every year.  And here is the big but, there are a couple of NCRS reports that were not yet finished due to complexity.  And a number of PFE reports for which the Agronomists say they have not yet received the information.  So there will be a supplement coming in early 2018.  But thankfully, the 2017 Report was, in fact, completed in 2017.  

Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas to the LAND of LIQUID!

So this being Friday, it's the last day of work for the year at the AgroLiquid World Headquarters in St. Johns, Michigan.  As has been the tradition for the last several years, it was a chance for the loyal workers still toiling away on fertilizer tasks to assemble for the annual picture.  This was after 4:30, so here are the people who closed up the place.
Word must have gotten around as there were 19 assembled for the pic this year.  Last year there were 13 and two years ago there were 8.  So people want to hang around for the festive foto.  There was actually a 20th worker still on the premises, that being Hudson in the chemistry lab.  Well the lab is behind two sets of locked doors, so he wasn't able to heed the call.  But there he is in an ornament in the upper left corner.  So I guess that is 20 in the picture this year.  Including Troy and Nick.  Working hard for all the fertilizer folks out there in the Land of Liquid, which is everywhere.  Merry Christmas!  But there are a couple more posts coming before the year is over, so be on the lookout.  Enjoy the season. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Salute to Farmers!

So have you heard the news?  It seems that our friends at Ag PhD are going to have a float in the Rose Parade on January 1.  Here is an artist’s concept of what it will look like.  The theme is "Salute to Farmers" and they plan to have real farmers on it.  Not actors from nearby Hollywood.  You can find out more information on their website.  But it's going to be pretty big, over 100 feet long.

And here's something else.  They are asking for farmers to send in seed from their farm to be used to decorate the float!  They want to have seed from all 50 states.  Yesterday they said that they had seed from all but a few New England states.  Anyway, it wouldn't be the same without seed from the NCRS.  Well we don't keep any of our harvested corn and beans, but we did have some rye seed that we grew and use for cover crop.  So I sent some to the float building place in California last week.  Here is what it looks like, so be on the lookout when you watch the parade.

For truth in advertising, here is the field of rye on Farm 12 as it looked last June 7.  It was taller than me.
Here is a close-up.  See that seed head on the left, kind of leaning over?  And that one in the middle about half way down?  Well some of the seeds in the bag on the left came from those.  As researchers, we keep track of everything.
So this will be exciting to have something from our own farm in the parade.  If you can, watch it on RFD-TV where they are sure to give extra coverage to America's most important resource: Farmers!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Snow Day

So yesterday (Wednesday) there was a big portion of the country that got snow.  Michigan was part of that portion.  I was out at the NCRS in the afternoon, and it was really coming down.  We ended up with close to 8 inches.
 The snow stopped at night, but then the cold set in.  Here was my temperature this morning on my way in according to my Flexometer.  I didn't think it would get that cold.  Fortunately I brought in my brass monkey last night.
 But as the sun came up, it was a pretty day.
As long as you could stay inside.  Which I did.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Yield Follow-up: California Melons

So here is another follow-up to a blog about crop comparisons.  This was from a May 8 post (Desert Fruit. No Extra Salt Needed) from SE California, just West of Yuma, AZ.  This was about a visit with SAM Carlos to a field of cantaloupes where a fertilizer comparison was being conducted.  This visit was a couple weeks before harvest.  To re-cap, Carlos and Retail Partner Jeramie with RNM Agriturf set up a fertilizer comparison in a field of melons.  This field was pretty rough with a pH >8 and high soil test sodium (>1000 ppm and 20% base saturation).  Anyway, the grower wouldn't tell them what his normal program was.  He just gave them a soil test and a target cost per acre.  With help from agronomist JW, they came up with a fertilizer program that was applied through drip irrigation.  
I showed these pictures in the original blog post from either side of that road on the left.  The pictures show the yields and the fertilizer programs.  The AgroLiquid program was more nutritionally balanced and it payed off with a yield that was almost 1.25 TONS/A higher than the growers program (a box of melons is 30 lb.).  So as I've said many times before, AgroLiquid is a superior nutrition program for any situation, but especially so in adverse conditions like high pH and sodium.  
This is because of carbon encapsulation of phosphorus, which protects from tie-up losses and enables extended release and feeding.  There is also a more direct application of nutrient needs like micronutrients and calcium.  Anyway, performance was proven again.  Hopefully I will be able to obtain more results from earlier field comparisons shown here in the Land of Liquid.